Auction Ride of the Week: 1966 Ducati Monza 250
Ducati is as close to a “household name” as an Italian motorcycle manufacturer is going to get here in the United States. But here’s an interesting fact: Ducati actually produced motorcycles before the Monster. Here’s another shocker: Some of them weren’t liter-sized V-twins. This 1966 Ducati 250 Monza is the bike that started to build Ducati’s reputation as a racing powerhouse in the 1960s.
Ducati didn’t even start building multi-cylinder motorcycles until 1970. Prior to that, it was producing single-cylinder bikes, a lot of which were thrown around in Grand Prix racing.
Ducati motorcycles prior to and just following World War II were pretty pedestrian moped-like machines, but in 1954, Ducati hired the brilliant Chief Engineer Fabio Taglioni, who really made Ducati what it is 60 years later.
His first efforts for Ducati were these overhead cam, single cylinder bikes. These bikes are unique because the overhead cam is driven by a shaft connected to the crank which rides inside an aluminum sleeve on the right side of the engine.